Yakult, Kia Projects To Create Nearly 300 Jobs In Georgia

The expansion projects, in the beverage and electric vehicle industries, will create total investments of more than $500M at locations in Bartow County and West Point.

Kia To Invest $200 Million+ In EV9 Production Expansion

Earlier this month, Kia announced it will invest more than $200 million and create nearly 200 jobs at its West Point plant. The expansion project will accommodate assembly of the company’s all-electric 2024 EV9 three-row SUV. The EV9 will become the fifth model to be assembled at Kia Georgia, joining the Telluride, Sorento and Sportage SUVs, and the K5 mid-size sedan. EV9 assembly is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024.

Kia Georgia
Kia’s EV9 electric SUV will become the fifth model to be assembled at Kia Georgia. (Photo: Kia Corporation)

Currently, more than 40 percent of Kia vehicles sold in the U.S. are manufactured in West Point. The addition of the EV9 to the lineup will further increase the facility’s output. As the brand’s first three-row EV SUV and the first Kia EV to be assembled in North America, the EV9 is the flagship vehicle for the company’s global Plan S strategy focused on sustainable mobility leadership.

“Like Telluride, EV9 has the potential to be another change catalyst for Kia,” said Sean Yoon, President & CEO, Kia Motors North America and Kia Motors America. “This will be the most innovative vehicle that we have ever built and will be a standout in the EV market and on the road. Best of all, it will be assembled in West Point, Georgia.”

Kia Georgia, which is a certified Georgia Made manufacturer, will continue to utilize the services of the Georgia Quick Start workforce development program, which operates the Kia Georgia Training Center. Quick Start’s comprehensive, customized training services will prepare new employees with the skills required to perform successfully on the new assembly line.

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“The Kia Georgia team looks forward to continuing its tradition of being the best of the best as our plant begins production of its first EV,” said Stuart Countess, President & CEO, Kia Georgia. “The partnerships we have developed statewide with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Economic Development, and Georgia QuickStart have been tremendous, as have the local partnerships with the City of West Point and Troup County. I can’t say enough about the support Kia Georgia continues to receive from our state and local community.”

To date, Kia has invested more than $1.9 billion in the state and Kia Georgia is responsible for more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs in the region. Earlier this year, Gov. Kemp and state lawmakers recognized January 31 as “Kia Day,” commending Kia’s vehicle manufacturing and its impact to the state since making one of the biggest single foreign investments in Georgia’s history with the 2006 announcement that a state-of-the-art vehicle assembly facility would be established in West Point.

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